WB loans Vietnam $400 mln to reform economy, higher education

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The World Bank has agreed to provide Vietnam with three concessional loans worth a total US$400 million to help the country reform its economic management and education system.


The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank signed three credit agreements Tuesday that aim to improve Vietnam's economic management and competitiveness, as well as support reforming higher education within the country and increase the readiness of the country's incoming kindergarteners.


The World Bank's Economic Management and Competitiveness Credit (EMCC) program has allocated $250 million for reforms in the following areas: the financial sector; fiscal policy; public administration and accountability; the management of state-owned enterprises; public investment management; efficiency within the business environment; and equity and transparency within the business environment.


The EMCC will help monitor Vietnam's macroeconomic policies to support the government's stabilization efforts.


A second installment of credit worth $50 million will go to the Higher Education Development Policy Operation 3 to support the government implement its higher education reform program with policies designed to strengthen governance, financing and overall quality within the country's system of higher education.


The third project, the School Readiness Promotion Project (SRPP), aims to improve the readiness of children about to enter primary school, particularly those most vulnerable to failure.


The $100-million project will support selected elements of Vietnam's national program focusing on the education of five-year-olds from 2010-2015.


In particular, the project supports efforts to expand full-day preschool enrollments, improve preschools' quality by strengthening the expertise of teachers and principals.


The three low-interest loans come from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group's concessional lending arm for low income countries.


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